Here's Why You Should Start Eating Dandelion Greens

When most people notice dandelions beginning to pop up in their yards and gardens, they sigh and get to weeding. But we're here to tell you that next time you spot patches of those bright yellow tufts in your perfectly manicured lawn, you should think twice before breaking out the herbicide. According to Healthline, dandelions are an ingredient featured in many traditional and herbal medicines, which, in the past, have been used to treat a wide variety of illnesses and ailments, like acne, liver disease, cancer, and stomach problems. While we are definitely not suggesting you start combing your neighborhood for these flowers instead of consulting a doctor if you are feeling sick, incorporating dandelion greens into your meals is an easy and possibly even free way to add more vitamins and minerals to your diet.

Dandelion greens have been found to be a significant source of a ton of different vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, C, and K; magnesium; potassium; iron, and calcium. The greens also contain smaller amounts of various B vitamins, folate, and vitamin E. If you're ready to take the plunge into eating dandelion greens from your yard, found in nature, or even ones you've purchased at a farm stand or grocery store, there are just a few things to know beforehand.

Dandelion greens found in the wild are safe to eat

Bon Appetit states that dandelion greens are simply the leaves of those common yellow flowers you find in gardens and yards all across the United States. These greens are perfectly edible as is, so long as they have not been sprayed with any weed-killing chemicals. If you find some in the wild or want to keep harvesting ones growing in your garden, be sure not to pick them all at once.

It is also important to know what you are getting yourself into! Dandelion greens are incredibly bitter, so you probably want to ease your way into eating them if you don't normally eat bitter foods, a little sprinkling on top of salads or sandwiches goes a long way. Additionally, dandelion greens become progressively more bitter as the summer goes on, so spring greens will be much less intense than any you pick in late summer.